by Megan Smith
Houston Pride month is right around the corner once again, with promises of a celebration that will top all that came before. At an unveiling event on January 17 at Meteor, Pride Houston, Inc. presented the theme, logo, and grand marshal nominees for the 2013 Houston LGBT Pride Celebration.
After soliciting theme ideas from the community following last year’s event, Pride Houston volunteers, directors, and officers narrowed down suggestions to the top three final selections. The community then had the final say, voting and selecting “Pride Unleashed” as this year’s celebration theme.
The 2013 corresponding logo was designed by a student of the Art Institute of Houston. As part of their curriculum, students submitted designs that they felt best represented the event’s theme. Pride Houston then made the final selection. The organization congratulated Rachel Rehrauer on designing this year’s winning logo.
The celebration wouldn’t be complete without honoring Male, Female, and Ally Grand Marshals. After asking the community to submit their nominations for “someone they feel has contributed most to the positive image and outlook of the Houston LGBT community,” a Pride Houston committee selected final nominees to present to the community for a vote.
This year’s Male Grand Marshal nominees include: JD Doyle, producer of Queer Music Heritage, a part of KPFT-FM’s Queer Voices; and John Nechman, Houston lawyer with a long history of fighting for the rights of LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants.
Female Grand Marshal nominees include: Gay Nell Gulihur, assistant rodeo director for the 2013 Texas Gay Rodeo Association; Liz James, chief executive officer for the Lesbian Health Initiative; and Robin Brown, prominent LGBT event planner whose work includes the Women of Victory 4th of July Celebration and the Victory Fund Citywide Family Picnic.
Of course, the LGBT community would be nowhere without its straight allies. Ally Grand Marshal nominees include: Anna Eastman, Houston Independent School District trustee who continues to advocate for LGBT students and employees; and Januari Leo, long-time LGBT and HIV activist who is currently policy and community organizing with Legacy Community Health Services. “All of our grand marshal nominees have made great strides to further and stand for our community,” Frankie Quijano, Pride Houston president, said. “They are all exemplary people involved in issues most important to the Houston LGBT community, and they are working to make a better life for all of us.”
To make your selection for 2013 Male, Female, and Ally Grand Marshal, vote online at pridehouston.org.